Longest Mountain Coaster
Berkshire East Mountain Resort Opens North America’s Longest Mountain Coaster IN THE NEWS | AQUATIC DEVELOPMENT GROUP | November 15, 2014

North America’s longest Mountain Coaster, Thunderbolt, is now open at Berkshire East Mountain Resort, Charlemont, Massachusetts. It’s from ADG and encompasses 5,450 feet (1,661 m) of mountain terrain. Riders rush near exposed rocks and cliffs, dive through a diverse mountain forest and descend into the resort.

Guests riding the Thunderbolt will begin their experience by ascending 1580 feet (482 m) of uphill track. Once there, they will begin a 3850 foot (1,173 m) downhill descent in their own personal carts. As riders roll down the rails guests control their speed via handbrake. The descent features dramatic twists and turns, sharp dips to steeply banking corners and two large 360-degree turns.

Berkshire East is one of the last family owned and operated ski areas in New England. Run by Roy Schaefer, who purchased the mountain resort out of bankruptcy 37 years ago and helped by his two sons, the business is rapidly expanding from a mom and pop ski area, to one of the most dynamic day resorts in the country.

The resort offers three zip line canopy tours, featuring two half mile (0.8 km) long zips and has partnered with Gravity Logic to bring big time Downhill Mountain Biking to Berkshire East. Last season, Berkshire East completed a three year, $2 million snow making upgrade and added a beautiful 12,000 square foot (1,115 sq m) custom timber frame lodge. Featuring a wind turbine and a 500kWh solar field, Berkshire East is the first ski area in the world to run from onsite renewable energy.

ADG designs and builds waterparks and recreational water and mountainside attractions for all types of venues from amusement parks and resorts to ski mountains and small aquatic settings. Our innovative InDepthTM approach focuses on our client’s success by utilizing a unique revenue generating design philosophy that we apply to every project, whether for a complete waterpark design/build or single product manufacture and install. All of our products and designs, from WaterfrontsTM and FlowRiders® to Mountain Slides and Coasters, are developed to create an experience for our client’s customers that encourage incidental purchases, entice repeat visits and increase length of stay.

ADG is the leading expert in recreational environments designed to draw diverse crowds, maximize revenue and increase guest satisfaction, having installed more than 90% of all wave systems in the U.S. and providing design/build and equipment services to more than 4,000 public, scholastic, leisure resort and amusement facilities worldwide.

Aquatic Development Group